[i [b War.] ] It knows no mercy of such a thing as discrimination. It came upon the land as an unforeseeable plague. Stealing life and devouring whole nations whole, the Third World war left entire nations wiped out. The Apocalypse came. Humanity was not ready for it. However the resilience of humanity to strive forth and live mirrors that of a cockroach. It lived. It grew.. It rebuild itself better, brighter, and more technologically advance.. However human cruelty is just as resilient as the will to survive. Two hundred and sixty years into the future and not much has change
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Waking at a reasonable time, the first thing Lyric noticed was that she wasn’t being hassled to get ready. Looking to the clock it was well past the time she would have expected Black to be in here bothering her. Slightly curious as to what was going on, she left her room, dressed as she normally would. Making it out to the living area, she caught sight of the dark man rushing off to the ext. He must have changed him mind about taking her along. She was sure that would put a dent in whatever Maria’s rebel friends were plotting. The thin woman was still somewhat bitter that she hadn’t been kept fully in the loop.
Shrugging it off, she headed to the kitchen to get something to eat. After that she would probably watch the event public broadcast. It was going to a shit show and Lyric wouldn’t miss it for the world.
There were eyes on Marcus just as soon as he left his condo. Dark brown, almost black irises blended into the pupils of Trenton, the traitorous guard. What he did not see was black’s captive, Lyric. He was told that she was to be coming with the general for this event. With them separated, his job became all the harder. Groaning, he pulled a touch screen device from his pocket. Deft fingers ran along the sensitive display. He needed to move a few things around.
The explosives had been set to go off on his command, but now that he had an extra errand to run, it would need to be automated. Trenton set them to such then was on his way to the top floor of the building.
Sitting on the couch, plate of food in hand, Lyric was not expecting to hear the transporter fire up. Had Black forgotten something? God, she hoped it wasn’t her. But as she watched the entrance to the room, it was not the dark haired man that appeared. This man was shorter and had chestnut colored hair that was pushed back. He was also in a guard uniform. Immediately, the woman sighed. [b “What do you want?”] The sentinels here were usually dicks, so she was preemptively in her response to that.
[b “Come with me.”] He didn’t really have a lot of time to explain, but because she was looking at him like that wasn’t going to happen, no way in hell, he caved. [b “I am on your side, we need to get out of here, hurry.”]
Lyric really wasn’t sure if this was a trap or what, but she was going for it. Jumping up from the couch, she practically threw her plate down. She was following after the guy as he readied up the transported. There was a buzzing from his pocket.
[b “The explosives went off. They should have Black apprehended before we make it down there.”]
Explosives? What were they trying to kill him? It shouldn’t really bother her, but it kind of did. Not wanting anyone to think that she might have any kind of loyalty to the man, she kept her mouth shut tight. She followed the brunette through the halls; there were no other guards along the way. And sure as can be, there were a bunch of men in battle grade armor, a pair of them holding a semi-lucid Marcus Black. Holy shit, these guys had actually managed to do it. They might have obliterated a limo, but they had the general. Impressed, the woman followed them out. There was a car waiting. The lot of them fit in and they were off.
The man who had come to get her spoke up once they were making away from the complex. [b “Names Trenton. Nice to meet you, Lyric.”] He offered his hand to shake. She took it.
[b “Lillie’s speech starts in an hour or so. That is when the real fireworks will get started.”] It was a hint at the plan. Though, Lyric knew that much. There was going to be a widespread attack. Apparently, it was to be done with explosives.
[b “Where are we going.”] She hoped that it wouldn’t be too long till they got there. The police and military were going to be all over Black’s disappearance and she did not want to get caught.
The man kept it kind of vague. [b “One of our bases. A heavily fortified one, we cannot afford for Black to escape. Once there we are going to give him a taste of his own medicine. See how he likes to be tortured. The goal is to get him on our side, though so I doubt it will be too brutal.”]
Lyric didn’t really understand how beating someone to within an inch of their life got them on your side, but she had never really been broken that way. As terrible as she found her stay, the infamous general didn’t, or wasn’t allowed to, touch her. Save that one time he broke orders, but that was not the same. He also didn’t play the mind games with her. Not like he was known to do. All in all, she couldn’t picture it. But Cade came to mind. She wondered what they must have done to him to get him to switch side. Lillie claimed he was in love her with, but she doubted it.
It felt good to be home once more in his office. Tomorrow was the day when once more Lilly gave her address to the crowd at large. Bleary eyes stared blankly our across the distance before his hand tapped upon his oak desk. At the very last moment things had been switch; he couldn't help but feel as an ominous feeling was hanging in the clouds. Am intangible feeling of dread that once more, something was going to reach out and try to snuff the light from his eyes. It came with the job description. Despite the outer appeared of plush luxury and wealth it was anything but safe. A target had been planted on his back ever since the time he stepped our of the academy and into his service as a military figure. [i "At this rate Black, you weren't live to see retirement. But it's all dandy."] He mused to himself before he stood up. Now was the time he looked over his military equipment and made sure that all was crisps and prep for tomorrow's big deal.
Heading towards his bedroom,he stopped briefly to look at the room which held the sleeping captive. He had to admit. Deep down, despite her being a massive pain in the ass, it was nice to have someone break the solitude in his lonely life. Perhaps a thanks was in order for all the times she help amused him. But for now, it was time to get serious. Honestly, he had no intentions on bringing her with him. If the rebels were planning something sinister than he doubt that she would no part know. A smart lass would've found a way to stay in contact with the outside. And so with all that being said, he head towards his room to prepare for the coming morning and the feeling of dread which couldn't abate from within his core.
By the time the sun would rise, Marcus had already descend the elevator and was heading towards the car garage. A holster was rest beside his right leg and his uniform was crisps and perfect. A black hat decorated with ribbons showed his rank and his hair had been cut shortly before he'd walked out the door. Deep down in his he couldn't help but feel a heighten sense paranoia surging through his body. Even when he got the the limousine which would take him to the park where the holograms were set up, the fact that Lilly herself decided to now show up in person for the first time in over twenty five years didn't sit well with the tactician. The moment he inched towards his car was the moment he stepped back and turned towards his driver.
He was already busy getting in the driver's seat. Right before he was about to turn the ignition Black screamed out. [b DONT TURN IT]]
And time slowed down to a halt. The flames that exploded our from the car and the sensation of flying backwards towards the air seemed to take place over several minutes. He felt something sharp penetrate his skin, and as he landed upon his back and stared upwards, he couldn't help but see hands out stretch grabbing his body and lifting it up.
Before he blacked out, all he heard was a voice speaking to him which sound familiar and yet at the same time foreign all the same...
It was quiet, but Lyric could hear a bit of the gentlemen's conversation. She almost felt bad for black, almost. At the very least she understood the concept of not having the freedom to live life the way you wanted. Her empathy ended there though, as he was very much the one who was impeding her autonomy. It might have been under orders, but he was an instrument in her slavery all the same.
He finished his ramblings and miraculously he seemed in a better mood. Better than he had been anyway. She was not exactly thrilled that she was going to be stuck in a car with him for several hours, but so was life. All in all, she was impressed with Barrett. The man had been able to elicit what almost resembled human emotion out of the general, things besides anger and hate... nice to know that was possible. Though, truthfully speaking she had probably seen it before and not thought anything of it. But still, the large man was a perfect mediator. Perhaps that trip out into the world would not be so bad as long as he was there.
Nodding, her bright hair swayed as she accepted Barrett's offer to walk with her back to the car. Seeing as Black was well on his way there already. That man waited for no one.
The pair kept pleasant conversation the whole way back, which made the walk feel that much shorter. If anything the rebel woman thought it was too short. They said their goodbyes at the car. The bulky man even managed to pull her into a hug. Lyric really hadn't been expecting it, and she was not the touchiest person, but it was not unpleasant overall.
When she did pull back there was no resistance. [b "See you next time."] Then with a little wave, she finished her goodbye and got into the car. Black followed shortly after her. He started the car and they were officially off. Lyric watched out the dark tinted window as their host’s figure disappeared. Off he walked back to his home and office.
[b “Well, today was one hell of a roller coaster…”] She thought back on all that had transpired. They trained, both armed and unarmed, he did some sort of perimeter check on the gardens, they saw Lillie’s crazy ass, and they came all the way out here to visit with an old friend. Half of it was work related for Marcus, even if it was supposed to be his day off. Lyric didn’t know how he kept sane, if he did. All she knew for sure was that she was exhausted.
There was silence. And in that lull, Lyric began to nod off. Eventually passing out against the passenger side door. The soft sounds of her sleeping came intermittently beneath the noise of the car and infrequent traffic. While it was not the most restful sleep, she was out until they made it back to the complex they called home. Transporting up to the apartment, the woman went straight to her room and fell fully to sleep. She was not looking forward to tomorrow, but she was too tired to stay up and fret about it.
It was the heavy hand upon his shoulder which brought him back to reality. Seeped deep into the days of an oppressive youth, the male had forgotten for a second what it felt like to be jovial. A tense smile formed upon his lips as he faced his old friend and school mate. Placing a hand upon his, he took it off before he nodded his head.. It was best if he didn't sit around outside, but he couldn't help it. Further down from where they were was an alleyway. It had steps that led further down into an open ring area that had benches where people could sit on. A little bit of gayness amongst the greyness of the world below which was steeped in poverty and corruption. Sighing softly the male continued to stare down towards the sector of the of his young adulthood. If he closed his eyes he could still see a long hair black walking about in that population police uniform. Whistling to himself and taking a break from his duty.
[b "You know what I miss most about of all? This place. Before I became captain or the population police.. No one knew who I was. So I would wear civilian clothes some days and sneak out of our barracks and head down towards that alleyway. There were marble benches in a circle and during noon the sun would shine right down in the middle of the spot. I'd eat my lunch there.. or read a book and no one would bother me. And even when I was on duty, I'd still make it my personal mission to sit down and enjoy some time in the open air. "] Closing his eyes he turned towards the male and gave him a serious look.
[b "Some days. I feel like the world will catch fire and end. We have this false sense of peace.. and I'm the only whose pressured the most into making sure everything goes according to plan. I have to study the movements of the rebel and suggest where to put the heaviest concentration of soldiers at. I have to study the food supplies and male suggestions as to where to put more rations at. I have to make sure the those who are station outside the city limits at the gates are taken care of and our rotated properly. I have to assure the wealthy people that their security is State of the art, So many fucking choices I have to plan and make.. I miss having time to breathe."]
Letting out a slow sigh shrugged his shoulders. Turning his eyes towards his wrist he let out a slow sigh. He'd used up the warp drive on his way here which meant the drive back was going to be a doozy. Rocking on his heel back and forth,he extended a hand towards Barret and let out a soft sigh.
[i "They really got you stretch thin don't they old friend? I never knew it was that bad. But the salary isn't to bad right? The five hundred thousand makes up for it right?]
[b "I got a pay raise two years ago. It's seven hundred and fifty now. Though most of that goes to housing and security and transportation. So I only see seventy. Mist pointless honestly. I never have any days off so I don't see the point in having that much money lying around."]
[i "Yeah well shit. How about donating it to us poor people."]
With that they both laughed. Playfully he punched his friend in the chest before smiling. With that Barret turned towards Lyric and rustled her hair smiling as he did so. [i "Guess i ought to let you guys go? You guys got a lot of driving to do on the way back to the house."]
Shrugging his shoulders he nodded his head. [b "Hey. What can I say I'm a busy man. We can still make it before sunrise if I break all the speeding rules."]
[i "Yeah. But you know that crazy bitch would never let you hear the end of it.. sheesh. That's the only thing scarier than death is facing her."]
[b "that's an understatement."] Laughing once more Black started heading towards the parking deck. Meanwhile Barret turned towards Lyric and smiled.
[center " Come on. I'll walk you to the parking deck.]
Listening, Lyric was a little surprised that Barrett was some easily convinced to give her a look into the secret life of Marcus Black. At least what it had been when the two of them were younger... though, admittedly, she thought it was pulling her leg with that first story. Showing up to class in nothing but his skivvies? Almost seemed too stereotypical to be true, but upon noticing Black almost spit his tea across the room, there must have been at least some modicum of truth to it. Sure, she wasn’t all that interested in seeing him any more naked than she had to, but the rebel might have paid to see that. The mortification on his features alone would have been worth it.
She laughed at the second tale, and even more so when Black protested. [b “Really, out the window?”] It was likely on the ground level, but she imaged it to be from the second story. The whole thing played out rather comically in her mind, almost like a cartoon rather than reality. Which helped explain the giggling that kept bubbling up from her. [b “If he was using tricks like that he must have liked you. At least enough to try and prepare you for real life outside of a classroom where there are rules and regulations.”] In her experience, those who were hard on their students, especially when it came to combat, left a lasting impression. One that just might come to mind when you needed it most out in the field.
What came out next was something the teal-haired woman had already basically put together. Between how he acted around the supreme commander and what Lyric had heard while stuck in the upper levels, much from Lillie’s own mouth, she had a decent idea of the long standing toxic dynamic between them. It was sickening, almost enough for her to pity him, but not quite.
Black exited shortly after that. It seemed her fun was through for now, as Barrett put an end to the stories. Though, she doubted there was much else to tell. [b “I guess you are right, I’d rather not expose those poor souls to his shitty mood.”] Just because she had to deal with him today didn’t mean her fellow resistance members should have to. Still, she wasn’t in any hurry to finish her drink.
When the time did come, the bulky man was the first to stand. Lyric sighed, but she followed after him as they walked the path out of the jungle-like room. Honestly, from there the woman had nary a clue which direction the general could have gone, but it seemed as though Barrett knew each twist and turn to take. She couldn’t help but wonder if he knew his friend that well or if he was just guessing.
The pair made it from the workshop and then the house. Outside, the bright haired woman was strangely refreshed again by their surroundings. Incredibly different from the luxury she had been surrounded by for the last several weeks, this was decrepit in comparison, but it reminded her of home. It was refreshing, almost liberating. As she Lyric took it all in, they headed off in the direction of the military headquarters for the lower level.
It wasn’t too terribly long before Black’s well-toned form came into view. Luckily, it didn’t appear as though he had crossed paths with anyone as of yet. Surely there would have been a trail of violence if that were the case. Well, maybe not if it had been a soldier.
Lyric fell back while Barrett came forward to his companion. From him came a quiet sound to announce their presence. There was no doubt in his mind that Black was aware they were there, but it was always better to err on the side of caution. Especially with these doggedly trained military types.
Once at Black’s side, the man placed a large hand on his shoulder. [b “I’m sorry, my friend… I got carried away reminiscing.”] A large, apologetic smiled displayed on his face. [b “If it might make you feel better, you can share something embarrassing about me next.”] This was spoken less seriously, but did not quite make it all the way to playful.
The thin woman just watched the two from her spot. She felt a little bad as the one who had started all this, but she tried to convince herself that the feeling was pointed at Barrett rather than Black.
[b "Oh do I have some embrassing stories about black? You bet I do.."] Barrett laughed as he sipped from his tea. Turning towards his guests he gave Black a wink before he smiled closing his eyes. Now the question was which one would be the best one to tell.. Rolling his eyes, Marcus reached for his cup of tea and sipped on it. This ought to be a good one. Reliving old memories of his school days. Setting the cup down, the, male looked at the female and grinned.
[b "There was that one time where Black overslept so he showed up to class only wearing his underwear.]
Choking on his Tea, the normally stotic male lost his composure and hit himself in the chest..
[b "Or the time when he got into a sparring match with our instructor and ended up being thrown out the window."]
"He threw water in my eye.. That was a dirty trick!" The male interjected setting down his drink and shooting the male a dirty look.
[b "Yeah, yeah.. excuses excuses."]
Waving the away the male suddenly open his eyes again before looking at his favorite little person before he let out a low sigh. [b "In all honestly, there isn't much I could tell you about Black having embrassing stories.. Lillie was always breathing down his neck, so he didn't have much of a childhood. "]
"Barrett.. you talk to much." Marcus spoke. Suddenly the air had taken a sour turn. Setting the tea down, the male straighten out his shirt before heading towards the stairs. He was in dire need of some fresh air and he didn't feel like waiting around to get some breathing room. Ascending the stairs, the male felt deep down as if somehow this was a terrible idea. But ignoring the thought he pressed forward and out into the open. If worst came to worst, he was sure that his hand to hand skills sou
Be sufficient. That and he had his sidearm with him as well.
Setting down the tea the male muttered to himself. Oh boy, it seemed as If he really did it this time. Turning towards Lyric he glanced around the room before he sighed and continued to sip from his tea. [b "looks like we should probably go after him once were done with our tea... Lately the rebellion has been everyone in the lower levels.. and if they know someone like him is walking around.. it'll be bad. Especially if Black requests to have his inhibitors place off of him."]
It was a wide spread myth that most humans only used fifty percent of their brain but for high ranking officers like Barrett and Marcus it was a truth that was painfully made aware every moment they breathe. Stirring the tea around some more. The male looked at the green haired women and he couldn't help but smiled. There was seriously a sense of pride he felt every time he looked at her. She'd had seemingly gone a lot further than most of the kids with whom Barrett had looked after in the past and he was glad to see that that was the case. The last thing he where wanted her to do was loose hope like all the others had. And it seemed as if she still
Believed that her future was brighter than ever.
Sticking her tongue out at the large built man, the woman didn’t have much to say about that. She knew she was stubborn, but she didn’t much care for being compared to livestock. A little too close to home, living here within society’s small bubble of a barrier and life mattering just about as much as an animal’s to the world. Though recently, that seemed to be changing. Very important people seemed to think she was important too. Thinking about it, she didn’t know which was worse.
Her thought was interrupted when Marcus started speaking to her. Normally Lyric would have laughed at calling the way hec had acted that day ‘less serious,’ but seeing as she’d been painfully closely acquainted with him for the past god knows how long, she knew it was not a joke. His life was just that awful, though that was her own opinion and she chose to keep it to her self for the time being.
There was no time to answer the man’s question before the booming voice of Barrett interjected about days of old. She really did laugh at hearing that the general received a plethora of love declarations. [b “Pfft, anyone who sent you a letter dodged a fucking bullet when you rejected them.”] It was more of a matter of if. Lyric had no idea if he actually rejected anyone. Though, she really didn’t want to know anything about his college sexscapades. Mr. tight-laced could keep those to himself. Though, there were some other things she would like to hear.
[b “You know, I wouldn’t mind sticking around for a while longer…”] She took the cup of tea from their host as she spoke. The glass was incredibly warm. It would be too hot to drink for the time being, so she just kept it between her palms. [b “That is, if I get to hear all of Black’s embarrassing college stories.”] Looking to find something to use against him, or even just to entertain herself, she looked towards Barrett. [b “You have anything like that?”] With his magnificent memory, she was certain he would, the real question was whether he would share to just to keep his company there for a little longer. [b “You know, besides leaving a trail of love sick ladies and gentlemen behind.”] Her tone remained playful all the while it was directed at Barratt.
"Can't make a mule drink water if she doesn't want to." The little bit of disappointment in his choice was over shadowed by the playfulness which shined through. Whether or not she decided to come with them or stay was in the end her decision. He was just glad that she was making something of her self rather than just staying put and not doing anything. With all that done, the big man slapped his hands together and spoke rather loudly. "So, how about I be a good host and prepare us something to drink.. Most of these plants would be toxic but I found something interesting. As long as you put these plants in clean soil and water than they're quite beneficial for ya,"
Walking towards one plant, he nodded his head as be stripped it of its leaves and hummed, simply preparing to make tea for anyone that was in the mood for it. Taking a stone herb grinder, he placed the leaves on it before taking a wheel and beginning to crush them together and grind them down. As he worked, Black looked at the girl with his normal set of stern eyes before he brushed back a stray lock of hair. "Well, it was fun being less serious for the day." He spoke to himself. Straightening up his uniform he let out a slight cough before he tapped his foot onto the ground.
Checking his watch he slowly looked at the girl before he spoke " So, you ready to leave for home or would you rather stay here and just chat with two old men.. thought I'm surprise you two know of each other. Me and him went to the academy together.. we were actually roommates." Black laughed a little bit at the thought of his youthfulness.
[b "aww, now why you gotta tell her about all that?"] Barrett spoke up laughing a bit.
Standing up the male left for a little while and when he returned he came back with a cups and hot water.. Pouring the leaves back in, he poured the water back to and the male continued on chattering. [b "Back than you were always getting love letters after love letters.. Making me jealous that I never got any... and you were even more serious and uptight than then you were now. I'm glad you find away to remove the stick up your ass." ]
Laughing Black shrugged his shoulders. "I had my entire life on the line back then.. now. Now, I barely have to risk my life.. plus you always got better grades than me. Everything came. Natural to you, I had to work extra hard." He spoke
[b "yeah yeah, lie to me again."] The male laughed as he took the tea in his hand and sipped from it.
The light haired guard donned a medium complexion. He was a familiar face amongst the complex, so no one thought any different when he walked back to the garage area. The man waved at one of his fellow security officers and walked in. It was a simple task, to make sure all the explosives rigged into the many vehicles that Black might take were still intact and then pray that he was in one that was also outfitted. There was no telling whether or not the military man would be back the next morning before he needed to attend the supreme leader’s announcements, but he was going to be ready all the same.
It had been a pain in the ass to come up with something that had enough bang to actually do damage to the armored cars, but what was far worse was the fact that it all had to fly under the radar. None of it could be perceptible to any of the routine checks that were run on them. Somehow they had managed and the guard had set it all up some time ago. Now he just needed to be sure it hadn’t been found or damaged.
For once in his life he was lucky, everything was still in good standing. After quickly but thoroughly looking over each one, the man excited the garage. All that was left was the detonator and making sure he had a line set up to know when the chosen car would be in place.
Lyric watched on as Black entered the conversation and things instantly became more technical. Always wanting to know the hows and whens. But Barrett did not seem to mind in the least. Probably because he had an answer, that being some nonsense about going to an underground cave system. The bright haired woman still wasn’t all that interested. Her freedom was much to big of a price to pay to go spelunking in what was likely a crumbling and dangerous system of ancient tunnels.
[b “Yeah, no thanks. I think I will stay behind.”] The wonder of the outside hadn’t exactly faded inside of her. She still desperately wanted to see it all, especially with someone as knowledgeable and good spirited as the researcher in front of her, but there were more poignant things to deal with inside the barrier.
Barrett looked over to the thin woman, a little confused. Hadn’t they just established that she was the one who was coming with them? Thinking back on it, no one had ever really answered his inquiry. He looked between Lyric and Black, questioningly.
Shrugging, she didn’t look him in the eyes. Lyric couldn’t after he’d just finished praising her for being the first one to get the chance to go outside of this shithole. As determined as she was to be a thorn in the government’s side, it did still feel like a waste. And for that she felt guilty. Good thing there were plenty of things to fix her eyes on other than the large statured man.
“And why is that?” Whether he intended it that way or not, he was forcing her hand. There was a good chance he was just curious, seeing as that was a deeply ingrained characteristic of his. Lyric thought it had to be, nothing other than an intense drive for answers could bring a person to ford out into the poison wastelands over and over again, endangering their own life. Well, that or maybe an overwhelming want to get the hell out of here. Now that was something she had.
She shrugged again. [b “I’d rather not play straight into Lillie’s plans, not if I can help it.”] That was easier said than done, as Lyric didn’t know exactly what that crazy bitch wanted. Thinking back to the dinner they’d just had, she seemed like that she wanted Lyric and Black on this trip. At least she had asked about it. So that was another reason to keep up her obstinance. Not like Marcus could do much about it, not now that she knew he wasn’t allowed to touch her.
It seemed to her as if the wisps of smoke where bodies writhing in agony. Disembodied voices floated through her ears as the eventual day of reckoning was upon her once more. Warmth seeped within her skin as she lowered her body further down with in the sheets of her bed. Tomorrow would bring the end to everything and the start of something new. The annual meeting had already been recorded and was schedule to play on time, whilst she was nestled safely in her little house. After the inevitable attack played out, she would broadcast her true location, holding the vial of blood upwards for the world to see and the world would once more be righted. No longer would vitriol and distrust be spewed at the current government for the circumstances which the poor and the unfortunate find themselves in. Instead, they hatred would be focus on where it should have always been all along. The group to people which claim to represent the will of the populace but only had their own selfish interest at hand...
A sudden harsh knock on the door pulled Lilly from her day dream. Lifting upwards from the private chambers, those eyes weren't fixated on anything before she spoke and commanded the soldier to come towards her. Once more, she took a drag from the cigarette and closed her eyes.
[I we've performed the test as instructed... and I've never seen anything like this. It seems like when the blood is complete resistant to the outer toxins... I have no idea how you've come by this sample, but whoever's blood this is... is the luckiest son bitch to walk the Earth!]
With a wave of her hand, the person was dismissed and the female stretched out her form upon the bed..
Heading towards the door she closed and locked it before heading towards her bed. Raising her left arm upwards, a single digit pressed a button and the bed began to move revealing a series of stairs which led down to a dark corridor below. Heading towards the stairs, she looked forward to the beginning of everything which had been building since the time she learned of the betrayal of the Kyle's. Since Cade had come scrambling to her to begging to spare the life of Lyric. Tensions were being built and it seemed as if the strings of fate were being pulled taut. Any more and it seemed as if the world would come crashing down atop of her.
Exhaling, she watched as her breath unfurled in front of her. The further down she climbed the colder it seemed to get contrary to how ir should've worked. Frost clung to the stone walls and it seemed as if the ground was beginning to go from solid concrete to ice. As her feet touch the ground, a sickening grin formed upon her face.. The sight of a capsule like thing frozen in ice appeared before her.
The door had been made from glass before it had been shatter and by now ice and was all around the room. Touching the metal pod, she cooed softly. [b "it'll all be over soon father.. I'll save the world.. just like your wanted me to.. That's why you sabes ,e right?"]
[b "I can finally breathe."]
Black spoke as he stretched our his collar with a finger of his. Watching the interaction between the two, he somewhat manage to grimace. It had been his off day, so he wasn't his usually stoic, strict self. But even than, he'd a hard time relaxing. Especially in a place like this. Still, a thin smirk slipped as he put a hand around the back of his neck and began to roll it from side to side.
They'd had to leave as soon as the sun started to rise but till than, he didn't mind standing in the room which was filled with plant life. The sound of running water brought him at ease somehow. [b "So.. Only a few months till we explore the great outside.. Have you figured a safe way out into the desert?"]
"Of course!" The man laughed as he let go of Lyrics hair before giving it one more rustle. "Turns out, there's a whole system, of underground caves. Stretching miles upon miles throughout the wastelands. Lilly, a.k.a. psycho lady, sent me this.."
Turning towards his desk, he open it up and reveal pieces of folded up paper. "I dunno how she got it. And it looks hella old. But all these are maps that lead outside the city and underground." Working as he talked, he spreaded the map and walked as he talked.
"Now, the hardest part is figuring out how to get from the underground so the surface and vice versa. I'm absolutely positive that there are underground caves that lead out into the city, but they're probably guarded and top secret stuff.."
[b "You don't say..."] Black spoke softly. This was news, even to himself. He'd pretty sure that he knew all the secret the supreme commanded was hiding... unless... It couldn't possibly be.
"So, what do ya think? You guys be up for some cave exploring?"
Somewhat ruffled after the unexpected turn of events, she kind of wondered if Black had finally lost it. Lyric would soon find that that was not the case. He instead stopped the vehicle and came around to let her out. She was hesitant. After all the last time she got out of the car she was assaulted. There were bruises on her wrist to prove it, along with the bandage. Grunting, not exactly enthralled with whatever the hell was going on she begrudgingly stepped out of the car. It wouldn’t be till a bit later that she got any sort of explanation. That being said she caught the name he said. Barrett Wallace. Unbelievably he was someone she knew. Not from his past exploits in the military, but because he was a somewhat frequent face down in the slums. In truth he was probably the reason so many of the children down here dreamed of seeing the outside world. There was a time when she had been one of them.
Uncharacteristically excited, Lyric didn’t even mind that Black was practically right on top of her as they walked together. Was he worried she was going to try and run off? That or that someone was going to try and knock him off. Either was likely. He was on edge, but the ambiance here put her at ease. The closest to home she’d been in a long while. They walked for almost half an hour before they came to the wall and Black opened up the pathway into it.
[b “Oh thanks.”] Her comment was snide as she took her first step down onto the less than substantial looking stairs. The bright haired woman pressed on. There wasn’t much more than the faint light of the stairs to light the abysmal darkness, but in the distance she could see a dim white glow. Probably where their destination lay. The only sound was of their feet on the steps for a long time. That didn’t stop until they made it to the bottom. There it was brighter. In the distance she could see an encampment, most likely military, but they stopped before that at the door of a house. Black didn’t bother knocking. Was he expected? Her guess was that he messaged in beforehand.
Inside was almost like a workshop, but it was a neat one. All the parts and tools seemed to have their place. However the sheer volume of everything made it look like organized chaos. She followed the dark man through until they came to a door. This one he chose to knock on. From inside called a familiar voice, granting them entrance. There was a stark contrast between this room and the last. Here was lush and green, filled with plants she’d never before laid eyes on. Stopping, she prodded at one of the leaves, it was indeed real. Lyric wondered if this is what it was like inside of the gardens they’d stopped at before, or if perhaps this private place was far more diverse.
In the throng of green, Barrett was there; he didn’t look much different than she remembered him. Although, she wasn’t the most perceptive child in the world, so it could be that what she was seeing now was merely filling in the blanks. While she recalled him, the woman had no expectation that he would remember her. There were a lot of faces in this world.
The man stood, coming to greet them. He looked between his guests. [b “So this is the one coming along with us?”] He spoke as though it was already decided, but his gaze paused on Lyric and he smiled. [b “Lucky you, I think you’re going to be the first one of the kids down here to actually safely step foot outside.”]
She made a dirty face; not thinking any of this was particularly auspicious. To that Barrett laughed. [b “I guess times have changed, haven’t they Lyric?”] He brought up his hand, roughly tussling her hair. The action caught her off guard, but she let him do it. [b “You still hate this hair of yours?”]
A grin came across her face. He took back his hand and she looked up at him, her hair a mess. [b “Now more than ever.”]
As much as many of the guards that took up security detail on the complex that Black and many of big wigs took residence hated their jobs, there was one who loathed it far more than the others. Not because it wasn’t what he saw himself doing with his life, but that being in such close proximity with spoiled, pompous, moneybags drained him. It was a boring task, but important all the same. He jolted to attention when he heard the ding of a message in his head. An occurrence he thought he’d never be used to. Oddly enough, it wasn’t from his boss. That being Black. It was someone else and it caused his lips to pull into a smirk. Finally he was being called to do something worthwhile. Sure, he wished he had been given better notice than this, but he was going to make it happen even if he only had the night.
The silence between them on the way home was rather uncomfortable. But there was nothing that Black could think of to say. Staring straight head and focusing on the fast possible way to get home from the leader’s house, he let out a long and painfully slow sigh. It seemed as if the cat was out of the bag and with the Supreme leader threatening him.. He’d had to go another route when it came to how he’d deal with Lyric. Gripping the wheel to his car, he suddenly veered a hard right and headed towards a different route than home.. By now, the sky above had started to darken and one could only assume that rain was about to fall downward upon them but that didn’t matter much.
Where he was going was unexpected and wasn’t on the todo list, but with the conversation the lead commander had with him, he felt like such a thing was necessary. Pressing a few buttons on the steering wheel, he hummed to himself as he the car slowly began to shake a little bit before the the loud whine of the engine could be heard. [i “Buckle up..”] Black spoke to Lyric, as he stepped on the gas and suddenly the car jerked forward. Blasting ahead at rapid speed, the male skillfully began weaving in and out of traffic, and making a series of turns before they were on a clear path and all he had to worry about was heading straight but the speed was still as intense as before.
t kept on like this for minutes at end, before he pressed another button and the car slowed to its normal cruising speed. In the distance, a giant wall could be seen towering over everything else in the building. Without taking his eyes off of it, Black spoke carefully.. [b “Barret Wallace..”] It was name which he doubt she’d be familiar with. Not to many people these days but that didn’t matter much.. Heading towards a parking garage that was nearby, Black pulled in before he walked alongside the other side of the car and open the door. Waiting for the Lyric to comply Black headed towards the booth that had a hologram figure standing there. Reaching into his pocket, he spoke to the hologram softly. [b “I like to visit the lower sector.”]
[i “Pfft. Sir, only those with military clearance are allowed to.. Oh, oh My! Mister Black! Forgive my rudeness we’ll ready the teleporter right away..”]
Stepping onto the streets of the, Black breathed in the smell of the slums before he exhaled softly. The air down here smelt different than up there.. It smelt of raw emotion instead of carefully planned mannerism and motives hidden in the darkest of shadows. And still, the wall which they seemed from afar seemed to stretch up endlessly now that than before. Reaching into his back pocket, the male pulled out his standard issued handgun and holster and moved it so that it was directly by his side. It felt needless to tell Lyric to stay closer to him, so he didn’t. He simply just gave her a look and nudged his head in the direction which they were suppose to walk and headed towards that way which seemingly brought them closer to that wall. By now, it could clearly be seen as something made out of metallic black. Not only that, but it seemed to curved outwards to the left and right but none of that was his concern. His concern was the house which was two miles away and was nestle inbetween the wall and a military headquarters post. Walking rather uncomfortably close to Lyric, he could sometimes feel his hand touch hers and but he ignored it as he began talking about where it was there were heading to.
[b “One of the perks of being a top-brass military officer is having a warp drive built into your own car.. We’re currently four hours away from the supreme commanders hour and three from mine.. We’re at the northern gate that leads out of the city.. Here, Barrett Wallace's makes his home.. He’s a researcher and ex-military. I think you’ll find his place interesting.. Since warp drive takes alot out of my car.. We’ll probably be here till midnight before walking back and warping back home.. Or to my place..”] It was an overly simplification for an extraordinary man.
As they near the house, it seemed to be an ordinary wall which blended seamlessly into the structures around the slums. But as Black pressed a hand to it, a suddenly blue light flicker across the wall before it a crack was illuminate and the blacken-walls split apart. Illuminated blue stairs lead downwards into the dark abyss and Black simply extended a hand downwards. [b “After you.”]
While Lyric received an answer, it was one she nary believed. Had anyone else come out and said that Cade was in love with her, she would have laughed at them. But Lillie didn’t seem to be in a joking sort of mood at the moment. Therefore she was forced to accept it as the truth; still she had a difficult time processing it. He was her superior officer, the one who she modeled her own dedication and spirit after. The green haired woman had never thought about him out of a light of respect and admiration, and now that she knew what he had done he wouldn’t even be granted that. Regardless of his intentions to save her from a life of torment in a lab, he’d still betrayed their cause.
Black was excused, or rather forced, from the room. Being alone with the commander of the human race was nerve wracking. As much as she had though she hated being around Black, in this case he had been a source of solace for her. Although that very well could have been nothing more than her projecting her fear of being left alone with Lillie. Perhaps she was confusing a simple lack of anxiety with something actually positive.
Eyes narrowing at the ancient woman when she asked if she ever loved anyone, Lyric didn’t see the relevance until she pressed on further. She never would have guessed that this hollow shell of a human being’s sole motive was something as plain as love. How could she hold one person so high in regard that she would watch the world burn around most everyone else? The younger woman didn’t understand it, and she didn’t think she was expected to. As Lillie had prodded, she’d never been in love, not truly. The fleeting moments of passion she had experienced were a far cry from honest to goodness love.
Defiance kicking back into full swing, the onyx-eyed woman finally spoke again. [b “You’ll be damned either way.”] For her crimes against the people she was supposed to be leading, Lyric knew when this woman finally met her end there was going to be a special place in hell for her.
Told to offer up her arm, she wasn’t having it. [b “I don’t fucking thi-“] But before she could complete the verbal thought, her arm was pinned to the table. Struggle as she might, she wasn’t getting away from Lillie’s metal grip. That didn’t mean she wasn’t going to try though. Pulling with all her might, she even went as far as to try and pry her grip away from his wrist. It amounted to nothing more than her wriggling.
[b “No!”] It wasn’t okay if she took her blood. She liked it right where it was. Plus, nothing about this looked sterile. Lyric was going to end up with some weird disease cause this crazy bitch tried to take an involuntary blood donation in her fucking dining room.
Continuing to wiggle about, now more to be a nuisance than anything else, she watched as the raven-haired woman continued to ready her needle despite the protest. There was no way she was going to do anything other than stab her arm as things were. Hitting an actual vein wouldn’t be possible with her moving frantically moving around. It wasn’t until she was drawing near to her arm that Lyric shouted out again. [b “Are you fucking psycho?”] When she continued even after that, the thin woman yielded, holding her arm perfectly still. Being punctured multiple times did not sound like a good time. God forbid she fail too many times and have to go at the other arm.
The wide gaged needle stung as it pressed through her skin and into her vein. The process wasn’t exactly quick either. Unable to take her eyes from the vial that was slowly filling with deep red fluid, Lyric wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of here. She jittered around fretfully, hoping the ordeal would be done with soon.
The end neared when the needle was removed, but there was still the process of wrapping the small wound. The bandage was uncomfortably tight, holding a wad of cotton in place. No sooner than she was released, Lyric took a few steps back to put distance between them. Her heart was pounding and she wanted to run. But there was nowhere to go. Just like the complex Black called home, security littered the grounds here as well. She wouldn’t make it far if she tried, so instead she maintained the space.
Looking rather pleased with her prize, she secured it. Not long after that Black was called back to the dining hall. Their meal was pretty much through, so with a swift exchange between the officials they had permission to leave. Lyric had no qualms with that. The pair of them returned to Marcus’ car in silence. In the grand scheme of things their visit was short, but much had transpired. The dark eyed woman had a lot to think about.
Meanwhile in another part of the city, Mrs. Maris Kyle pondered what was to be done in this situation. Clearly the supreme leader had caught wind of the rebel’s plan, but from where? Not knowing who she could trust and if she was being monitored, Maria narrowed down the list of those she was absolutely certain were not spies. It didn’t extend much further than her and her husband, and she was sure they were on some sort of watch list now. There was no way she would be able to reach out to the lower circle rebel forces to warn them, but she would be able to contact those closer to home. Their objective was still on the table, even if strike as a whole inevitably failed. Getting to work on that, she knew it would be a long night. At least she would have the comfort of her sweet Alex through it.
[#18812a [i “How did I get here?”] ]
[i “Move, move, Move!”]
[i “I wanna rebuild this world.. One day, somehow..”]
[#18812a [i “Don’t be foolish! You’re death will mean-”] ]
[i “If we limit our dreams to what we can only achieve in life; than they’ll never come true.”]
[#18812a [i “You’re children will be as mine, till my last breath is taken. In this, way, I do bind my soul to thee. Julius Thorn..”] ]
[i “Forgive me, I knew.. Only you could live to see my dream..”]
[b “Supreme commander! He is just a child! Have you lost-”]
[#18812a [i “Marcus, do you also think I’m wrong for-”] ]
[#18812a “Marcus Aurelius Thorn, leave us… Or rather, you stay here..”]
Of all the things which the child could have spoken to her she had to ask that question. How did such a deep betrayal happen which would’ve torn an honorable rebel to betray his own cause? How could such an evil and malicious woman be capable of such a thing? Setting the glass of wine down upon the table, the woman walked over towards Lyric without so much as hesitation and looked at her with such a look, before she moved away from the table.
Humming to herself, she headed back to where they had come from. There was a reason why the entrance to the house was a library with many different halls and shelves which seemed to extend endlessly towards the ceiling. The silver shelves were lined with heavy books and while somewhere rather light others were heavy and seemed to be as ancient as she apparently was. Fingertips ran across the books before she paused and came to one which was titled surveillance. Whether or not people knew it, drones always flew about the city; taking pictures of random people. It just so happen that last year Lyric just so happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Those features and locks of bright green hair were unmistakable the sign of Doctor Yeager's experiment gone horribly right. Pulling the book from the shelves the woman turned upon her heels and headed back towards the dining room table.
Whether it was the wine which made her stumble, or the voices of the pass echoing in her head she was unsure. Yet her walk was a bit off and her cheeks were a bit red. It seemed as if time was moving backwards and she could see clearly the pass opening up before her. The tightness of the capsule which would be her casket as she was frozen in time. Waking up to the glow of underground lights as she was found by a small pocket of humanity which had seemingly survived underground. Part of her clearly remember the face of the young boy who found her. How he grew up to be a handsome young devil with charming black eyes and hair as wildly as his nature to go out and grab life by the reigns.. Things seemed to slip from the pass into the future and back into it..
[#18812a “He loves you, Lyric.”]
Having somewhat regain her composer by the time she made it back to the table, the woman had return with the book. Taking the page, she tore it out before she set it down before the woman and sure enough.. There was the green-hair lass in the midst of her rebellion. It had been a freak accident. Something which no one had planned out. No one was looking for her to begin with.
Leaning closer to the female, she could see the fire which had been ignited in her eyes and she smiled a smile of contempt. Or was it something along the lines of jealousy? Sitting herself down on the table right before her, she gripped the edge of it and began rattling on.
[#18812a “Do you think you’re just here randomly? This picture was taken almost a year ago; it was on accident. We weren’t looking for you. But, ever since I saw this picture I couldn’t help but become intrigued.. So, I had people look into it.. Infiltrate the rebellion, report back to me… and than I decided that I wanted you.. The plan was to kidnap you and keep you locked up in the laboratory, experiment with you. Play with you..”] At this point she licked her lips before she leaned forward. Cupping a hand to her ear she whispered in her ear. [#18812a “But little ol’ loverboy persuaded us do go a different route.. So we followed his plan to the T..”]
Turning towards Marcus, she waved a hand in a shooing motion and he stood up blinking. Confused, he gave her a salute before he walked away from the table. Turning her head towards the male, she smiled briefly before her demeanor turned icy. Leaning forward she spoke low and softly. [#18812a “Have you ever loved someone? Truly, loved someone? I build this whole city as a testament to someone I loved..”]
Standing up she spoke softly.
[#18812a “It would’ve been almost five hundred years ago.. When the bombs fell. Humanity on the brink of destruction… My father froze me in a deep sleep and when I came true all I’d love has been stripped away. I was found by a boy almost three centuries later.. Back than all of humanity was buried underneath ground.. We wanted to escape our prison so we fought.. Fought to get above ground, fought against others that thought it was the will of the Gods to be trapt below. Fought with each other over resources. I’ve killed.. Many for the man I love.. Only to have him stripped away. Back than humanity was divided.. Horribly so.. His last wish was to have us back together.. As one.. It took a two hundred and twenty five years but we did it.”]
[#18812a “So I’ll be damned if I let a ragtag group of rebels tear apart my promise to him.”] Her voice was still soft but the tone took a darker note to it. Almost sinister. There was no rage at all but a promise of retribution. [#18812a “Lyric, let me see your hand..”]
It was a command. Bringing forth her arm, she tapped the metal device to reveal a needle and syringe. Before she had time to protest, she was holding down her wrist and Lillie spoke softly.
[center [#18812a “Since you’re here.. We might as well get a blood sample.. Is it okay if take your blood?”] ]
Lillie’s touch and eyes were cold on Lyric’s skin when she grabbed her face. The aura she exuded was completely different here compared to when she’d met her at the gala. It was like there was no filter forcing her to keep up appearances. A scary thought.
The chaste kiss was a greeting the bright-hared woman was not accustomed to, and she was glad when humanity’s leader moved on from her to Black. Once she was done there as well, she mentioned food. That damn chicken again. However there was no getting out of giving the youthful looking woman her way this time. She had no choice in the matter; even Lyric wasn’t going to flat out deny Lillie to her face. A hologram was one thing, but here in her presence that would be suicide.
Flinching when she called Black’s full name, it was what Lyric imagined an angry mother would sound like. Although perhaps with less affection in her tone. She barked at him to remove his shirt. An odd request, but he followed her order like the faithful dog he was. Lyric, who had on more than one occasion previously noted the man’s physique, was basically being slapped in the face with it now. That being said she was a tad too focused on the scene playing out before her to be distracted by his bare chest. He was made to recite part of his assignment. Impressively enough, he had it memorized. Although the actual caveat he spoke she found interesting. All this time, he had been threatening her and he couldn’t back it up. At least, he wasn’t supposed to. And even though the burn was nothing in comparison to what he’d done to her, Lyric still flinched. This lady was psychotic.
Lyric continued to keep her mouth shut as they moved to another room. This one decorated more elaborately and readied in advance for guests. Half naked Black did not fit in at all, which in turn only made him more distracting. Although Lillie had him beat as soon as she sat down and played her hand. And try as she might to keep a straight face, Lyric’s poker face faltered at the mention of the Kyles. As quickly as she could she returned the straight expression to her features. Clattering hit her ears from her right. Black must have dropped something, but she couldn’t look away from the lady at the other end of the table. Lillie continued and the situation only seemed to grow worse.
As she expected, there was indeed a double agent in their midst. Someone she knew well, but in that moment Lyric didn’t know who the arduous woman meant. And for some reason she was meant to be grateful that she wasn’t going to be executed just yet. Lillie mentioned that she was important, but clearly that wasn’t enough to stop the looming threat of death for her crimes. As when she first came to this place, the rebel wasn’t too terribly worried about it all ending, but she did worry for the frivolous couple she’d met. Alex and Maria deserved better. Hands balled into the tablecloth, their shaking betrayed how angry she was with it all. Her ire was laced with fear.
Finally, the turquoise haired woman let her eyes drop to the steaming food in front of her. She needed to focus on something else, lest she say something she’d regret. The topic quickly changed to the excursion that was to take place by the end of the year. And while Lyric shook her head to indicate that she had not thought about it, the truth was that she had. As things stood right now, she didn’t want to go. She wanted the freedom that was offered to her, even if it was foolish to dream that that was even an option anymore.
Black rattled something off beside her, but the dark woman wasn’t having any of it. Snapping back quickly, there was another line of threats this time aimed at the man. Lyric wasn’t used to seeing Black in a subordinate position. It was strangely foreign to her. One would think she would find it entertaining, but here it gave her a sense of vertigo. As though the world that had been built up around here these past few month had been turned on its head. She’d lost her appetite.
[b “Now, Lyric, how’s the roasted chicken?”]
Pausing, but not looking up, Lyric cut a small slice from the breast of the bird and brought it to her mouth. It was indeed delicious. [b “It’s good.”] Her voice was quiet, barely carrying across the long table.
The answer was simple, but when Lyric’s onyx eyes flickered up, Lillie seemed pleased with it. She picked at her food from there. Taking small bites, she moved the well-cooked food about on her plate to make it look as though she’d eaten more than she actually had. The scraping of silverware let her know that the others were eating as well. They probably weren’t paying too much attention to her, which was nice. There was a sense of reprieve to it. For the most part her concentration stayed at her plate without problem, but every once in a while she would take notice of Black in her peripheral vision. Why hadn’t he put his shirt back on yet? Normally something like that wouldn’t bother her, but he was always so cut and dry that it was intensely uncomfortable. Fidgeting a bit, she tired to think of something else… like who could their worthless traitor be?
Someone she knew well in the rebellion was the only clue she had to go off of. Lyric knew many rebels, most of which on an acquaintance like basis. She only considered herself close with a few. All of which were a part of her squad. In the rebellion things worked differently than a regular military, so a squadron was more like a small ragtag group that trained together under a captain. Too many people would attract the attention of the guards. Most the people in her particular group were young. There wasn’t a lot of experience between them, besides herself and their captain. None of the faces that flashed through her brain fit. They would have to be nearly as capable as Black for Lillie to consider them her left hand, as he was her right. It only left one option, and it wasn’t one she liked… Cade. Her stomach sank. It couldn’t be him. Someone who had looked at her with such genuine sorrow when they switched places in the exchange couldn’t be capable of this. Lightly trembling, Lyric ran her hand through her long hair, pushing it back from her face that carried but a hint of the disbelief she was feeling.
Looking straight at the supreme commander for the first time in some time, she was quite certain in the conclusion she’d found. But there was still a question she needed answered. Not the type to be roundabout if she didn’t have to, Lyric found her voice again. [b “How did you get your talons in him?”] There were embers glowing behind her eyes, ones that were reigniting.
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